House of the Dragon: Here's Why HBO Slashed Season 2 Episode Order

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Viewers will be spending less time with Rhaenyra and her dragons on House of the Dragon Season 2.

That news was revealed earlier this year when it was reported that the Game of Thrones spinoff's sophomore run would come in at eight episodes, down from the planned 10-episode run.

A definite answer to why the decision was made was not revealed at the time.

Emma D'Arcy on the Finale - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 10

In a new interview with Deadline, HBO's EVP and Head of Drama, Francesca Orsi, revealed the decision was driven by the middle of the season "treading water."

"There was some question about the narrative shape of Season 2," Orsi told the outlet. 

At the Castle - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 4

"We were developing it with Ryan Condal and [EP] Sara Hess, and we realized that we were sort of treading water narratively in the middle of the season," Orsi said.

"So it just felt much more rigorous, more urgent emotional arc for our characters if we compressed the season," she added, revealing that it also changed the conclusion and how House of the Dragon Season 3 would begin.

The third season has not received a formal pickup, but it has been mapped out.

There is still debate about whether the show will end after three seasons or four.

Chatting About Rumors - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 4

"It hasn't been finalized yet, it's still under discussion," Orsi said about about the length of the series.

"George and Ryan are going to meet after the writers strike."

"They had originally planned to meet before the strike took place and that was to figure out at what point the series itself was going to end. Is it four seasons?"

"I don't think from where I sit at this point will be any less than four. But could be more. We'll see."

Changes in King's Landing - House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 4

Given the backlash to the final season of Game of Thrones, there's a good chance producers and HBO are trying to avoid another poor ending because it would cause irreparable damage to the franchise.

The reaction to House of the Dragon Season 1 has been positive, with the show delivering huge ratings and quickly scoring a Season 2 renewal.

What are your thoughts on the reason for the reduced episodes?

Are you concerned?

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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House of the Dragon Quotes

As the first century of the Targaryen dynasty came to a close The health of the Old King, Jaehaerys, was failing. In those days, House Targaryen stood at the height of its strength with ten adult dragons under its yoke. No power in the world could stand against it. King Jaehaerys reigned over nearly 60 years of peace and prosperity but tragedy had claimed both his sons Leaving his succession in doubt. So, in the year 101 The Old King called a Great Council to choose an heir. Over a thousand lords made the journey to Harrenhal. Fourteen succession claims were heard But only two were truly considered. Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the King's eldest descendant and her younger cousin, Prince Viserys Targaryen The King's eldest male descendant. It is declared by all lords paramount and lords vassal of the Seven Kingdoms That Prince Viserys Targaryen be made Prince of Dragons tone! Rhaenys, a woman, would not inherit the Iron Throne. The lords instead chose Viserys my father. Jaehaerys called the Great Council To prevent a war being fought over his succession. For he knew the cold truth. The only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself.


Alicent: Did you read it?
Rhaenyra: Of course, I read it.
Alicent: When Princess Nymeria arrived in Dorne, who did she take to husband? Rhaenyra: A man.
Alicent: What was his name?
Rhaenyra: Lord Something.
Alicent: If you answer with "Lord Something," Septa Marlow will be furious.
Rhaenyra: She's funny when she's furious.
Alicent: You're always like this when you're worried.
Rhaenyra: Like what?
Alicent: Disagreeable. You're worried your father is about to overshadow you with a son.
Rhaenyra: I only worry for my mother. I hope for my father that he gets a son. As long as I can recall, it's all he's wanted.
Alicent: You want him to have a son?
Rhaenyra: I want to fly with you on dragon back see the great wonders across the Narrow Sea And eat only cake.
Alicent: I'm being serious.
Rhaenyra: I never jest about cake.
Alicent: You aren't worried about your position?
Rhaenyra: I like this position. It's quite comfortable.
[Alicent gets up to leave.]
Rhaenyra: Where are you going?
Alicent: Home. The hour has grown late.
Rhaenyra: Princess Nymeria led her Rhoynar across the Narrow Sea on 10,000 ships to flee their Valyrian pursuers. She took Lord Mors Martell of Dorne to husband and burned her own fleet off Sun spear to show her people that they were finished running.
Alicent: So you remember.
[Rhaenyra rips a page from the book.]
Alicent: If the Septa sees this book then...
Rhaenyra: Fuck the Septa.
Alicent: Rhaenyra!

  • Permalink: Rhaenyra!
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